The cellar, which dates to at least the 12th century, lies in Jerusalem, and is claimed by both a Palestinian Muslim shopkeeper and Egyptian Coptic Christians who have responsibility over part of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of Christianity's holiest site.
The legal battle over the centuries-old vaulted stone cellar has been festering for 14 years...Antonios al-Orshaleme, general secretary of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem, insists the basement is holy ground and was once part of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, revered by most Christians as the site where Jesus Christ was crucified and buried.
...The church was built in the fourth century. Its destruction seven centuries later provided an impetus for the Crusades. It was rebuilt in 1048 following agreement between the Byzantine Empire and the region's Muslim rulers. "Here is a monastery, below is also a monastery," says Orshaleme.
Not so, says lawyer Reuven Yehoshua, who represents storekeeper Hazam Hirbawi. "For 800 years this cellar was used as a garbage dump," says Yehoshua.
And, basically, PM Binyamin Netanyahu may have to resolve it.
The owner is dead but his son and his Israeli lawyers keep on.
This week, a report (in Hebrew) indicates the decision was that thee cellar belongs to ... Hirbawi.
And you thought the Temple Mount was the only troublesome holy site?
(thanks to RH)